"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
I was deeply humbled when a friend approached me to paint a painting to illustrate the above verses for her and her husband. I always like to go to the Lord in prayer in regards to any painting I am doing, especially when it has been commissioned. Of course, the first thing I thought of was birds flying around a barn, a basic painting, but I wanted this painting to tell the story of those verses in a very special way. As I read the Scripture many times, the one thing that I was struck with was the portion of those verses that stated..."and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?". That is when the Lord gave me the picture that He wanted me to paint.
It's amazing how the Lord gives me an idea, one that is a challenge (that is what makes the painting His), and then will slowly add things to the painting to tell the complete story! Once I totally committed this painting to the Lord, everything came into place. As I worked on the painting I thought and prayed about what the Lord wanted me to convey and this is what He laid on my heart:
Birds are amazing creatures. They are delicate, resourceful and beautiful, but they are also leery of us humans, especially if they are wild. Even though we feed and give them drink, they scatter to trees or bushes when we come near them. When I thought about verse 26, all I could think about was the Almighty Creator, lovingly caring for His creation. They would not scatter if He came out to feed them, in fact I envisioned them coming to Him without hesitation. That is why I felt that I would paint Jesus' hands feeding the birds.
As I started painting, I could feel the Lord's presence right there in my studio with me, guiding each stroke of the brush, to tell His story. I had looked up pictures on the internet for references in regards to birds eating out of people's hands. As I started to work on that part of the painting, I was struck with how many pictures I found with that subject matter. Jesus is different as He is those birds Creator. One thing I noticed was when they were eating off a person's hands, they would be facing the hand and that's when I decided that I was only going to paint one bird, a Chickadee, one of my favorite birds. The bird was going to be sitting in the palm of Jesus' hands eating, instead of facing Him and on His finger tips.
I love to have symbolism in my paintings. As you look at the bird, I wanted to convey that he was content to be in his Maker's hands, safe. He has no worries because he is trusting in the One who is feeding him. That little bird represents us! No matter what we are going through, we can feel safe in our Savior's hands. We can be content knowing that He will provide for our every need. I decided to have the seeds spilling from Jesus' hands to represent that His provision for us is overflowing. We don't need to be anxious about anything because He has us in the palm of His hands. The light behind His hands represent that He is our Light and He is all that we need.
When you look at His hands, you of course will see the scars. He gave His all for us, even though we don't deserve it. If He so willingly gave His life for us, then who are we to doubt Him in providing for our needs? This was an eye opener for me. With everything that my family and I have been going through lately, I have learned to trust the Lord through it. There were times, though, that I started to doubt. This painting that the Lord had me do, reminded me that that little bird was me and I know that I can feel safe in the palm of His hands, no matter what comes my way. The same goes for you!
No matter what comes your way, remember that you are "Nestled in His Care"!
Karen's Artistic Thoughts
I decided as I was working on this website, that a blog would be a way to explain what goes through my mind as I work on each piece the Lord has laid on my heart.